Saturday, May 31, 2008

tortoises and the new shell

Last week I posted a picture of the right side of the garage. This week, the left. So...even though we are slow as tortoises, the good news for us is that there is consistent progress. Maybe we are not as slow as tortoises, maybe it was just the quantity of work that needed to be done. So after putting in another 7 hours on the garage project today and another trip to the dump, we can see that there is light at the end of the tunnel, or in this particular tunnel, there is light in the garage.

We were tired and exhausted and decided to go out for dinner. On the way, we stopped off at the Toyota dealership and look what we bought! Ours is red. We left it at the dealership, however, to have a DVD player installed. We are looking forward to picking it up sometime this week!

Can I just say, I am so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

the May garden

I was just worrying about my orchid last week. It last showed off in November/December, but I thought they orchid guy told me that it bloomed twice a year. And then all of a sudden I find that it has 7! blooms. Welcome back beautiful!
As the last days of May are approaching and the majority of the northern hemisphere is looking forward to days in the garden, we here in Florida finish up the last tasks and then go into hangon mode until fall. I feel like a mom sending her kids away for the first time. I've done the best I could for them and now they are just going to have to cope through the furnace of affliction coming their way. But today my herb garden is happy so I thought I would share.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Nolan Carter Evans

Our new grandson
Number Nine

Girls 2
Boys 7

book club

I wish that I could say how much I enjoy the women that come to book club at my house without sounding somewhat pathetic. We don't actually spend all that much time discussing the books we read as we do discussing how the books affected the books give the past, present or maybe even the future some enhanced perspective. Sometimes someone else's ideas have balanced my own in an even better and more meaningful way. And every time we meet I think again, I am really glad they came tonight.

Monday, May 26, 2008

memorial day holiday

Doug and I were in the garage before 8 this morning, which we thought was quite admirable for a holiday. The temps were only in the 70's this morning and we took advantage. Doug got all of the hurricane doors stacked and we mounted all of the big garden tools on the wall. It is nice to actually see some progress even though we are still far from the goal. Brianna worked diligently inside this house tidying up after the weekend. She did a great job.

Then the Berge's came over. We had a great time on the lake and afterwards playing Wii.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

flips flops and rainbows

First the garage update. Sadly, I am no longer in New York. It is back to reality and the reality is that the garage still needs work. The heat and humidity are really slowing us down, but we did manage to work for about three hours this morning. Only one trip to the dump. Doug wanted to make two. We have been having a standoff about an iron table and chairs that he was sure nobody wanted and I was sure somebody did. Finally, against all his better judgment, he loaded them into his tractor and took them down near the street. Can I just say that I didn't even have time to make the "free" sign before the chairs were gone. And not many minutes later so was the table. I think whoever it was that wanted it, just couldn't fit it all in one load. So I am feeling good about that tonight.After lunch, five of my Young Women came over to make unity things for camp. Today we were working on flip flops. They turned out adorable!

Afterwards, we fired up the waverunners. It was quite a stormy afternoon and we got rained on three times. It never stopped us for more than a few minutes as we were lucky that there was no lightning accompaniment. Finally, the sun was sinking and the rain was coming again so we had to call it a day. We looked up into the sky and saw an incredibly beautiful double rainbow. Ah, rainbows – those will-o'-the-wisps of ethereal beauty, made possible only by a full lineup of optics phenomena. I didn't have my camera but this guy did. He says:
"This double rainbow came as a complete surprise.
I was waiting for a little bit of evening sunlight to fall on a tree.
Then a heavy shower started and the sun came out at the same time.
The result – a double rainbow – and I got very wet – but it was worth it."

We were already wet. Still, the double rainbow was a complete surprise. I am always going to try and remember to look at the order of the colors on the second rainbow. Because I know they are supposed to be flip flopped! You would think that I would have remembered that today! But I didn't.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

when the wrens almost ruined everything

For several weeks now Brianna has been watching this family of Carolina wrens. First, building their nest above our front door and then waiting on and now rearing their young. I have enjoyed seeing them zoom past the dining room windows numerous times a day as they hurry to take care of the needs of their young.

Wrens mate for life and like to build their homes in cavities. It was very hard to try and catch one of the parents as they are so speedy with their to-ing and fro-ing. Maybe you can just see one of them there behind the vacant light holder.

Anyway, I was watching them today from the car while Brianna was running an errand for me in the house. Suddenly, I was transported to another time--the summer of 2000.

Doug, Brianna and I were living in South Florida. Melanie was home for summer vacation from BYU and she and I were doing renovation work on the Birdhouse. In the summer there are often lightning-started fires in the Everglades. That year they were particularly dramatic. As we drove up from the south we could smell fire for much of our journey.

We arrived late, and I put Brianna to bed. Then Melanie and I sat down to relax. We had a little laugh and said, what are we thinking? We need to go to bed. We have a ton of work to do tomorrow. So, we walked back up the stairs. When I got to the top of the stairs, I said to Melanie, I can still smell the fire. She replied that she could as well.

And then I had one of the most singular experiences of my life. Very literally, "not knowing beforehand the things that I should do", I walked back down the stairs as did Melanie. As we neared the bottom, we could both see fire--literally right at the front door and right at the dining room window. I don't recall speaking to each other, but I do remember that she carried on downstairs and called 911 and I went back upstairs and grabbed Brianna out of bed and we left the house through the back staircase.

By the time we walked around to the front of the house, the fire engine had pulled into the driveway and the hoses were being unreeled. Fortunately, for us, it was a very small fire that was quickly put out. Then the firemen pulled a few boards off the front of the house to make sure that there was nothing simmering inside the walls.

At some point in time, someone had made light fixtures for the front porch out of wood. A wren family thought that was an ideal cavity for their home. When we turned on the front porch lights the nest materials were kindling for what followed.

Even though it is a hopelessly inadequate understatement, I still want to say how I am grateful for the promptings of the Spirit that kept us and our home safe that night. How often I have thought about it!

Given the severity of the situation and as ridiculous as it sounds, I have always hoped that the wren family escaped. Maybe their great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandbirdies are busy at my front door now.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

thank you berge's

for taking such good care of Brianna while we were away

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


the joy
as we see the love and support your family gives
a most extraordinary woman
making our dreams come true as well
the enrichment
that you bring to the lives of so many others
including our own

the walk
that is the outward manifestation
of a very significant accomplishment

the light
on your face
even though it is an otherwise dark, cold and rainy day
it comes from walking in the light and
it emanates from within
with all our love

princeton junction

We rode the train to Princeton Junction this morning where Cherylyn, Andrew and...Clark were waiting to pick us up. We had some fun playing on the cars at the mall
and then we had lunch before meeting up with Tricia and her family. We caravaned to Rutger's University together.

Monday, May 19, 2008

meeting the little people in the big city

We had the most wonderful day with---Courtney, Bella, Carter and Jonah.
First we went to see their dad's apartment.

Then we went to see where he works.

Of course, we had to have pizza for lunch at a great
New York pizzeria.
Papa played "rock, paper, scissors, shoot" outside with the kids
while we were waiting for a table inside
amongst all the professionals who may have been wondering
what on earth these kids were doing on Wall Street?On to the subway for a ride from downtown to midtown.So that we could capture
Tricia, the librarian
with one of her favorite library sayings:

But above all things
beareth away
the victory

We didn't want to miss this picture of the kids on one of the giants lions either.

We were off next to the American Girl store
where Courtney negotiated a deal with her dad to purchase this suitcase
for her adventures this summer at Princess Camp.
We can't wait to see her at
Birdhouse Castle!
Bella entertained more than just me
dragging a similar suitcase throughout the store...
all the while saying
"Dada! Dada!"
A quick stop at Rockefeller Center
where the cherry trees were just beginning to bloom.

Next up...FAO Schwartz!

We were had some great piano entertainment.

Bella didn't quite make it to the last stop.

The Stage Deli

Where Courtney
pondered the possibilities of picnicking on a plate of pickles.


How do you take four little people to the city?
You have four big people go with them.
We walked their little legs off
and they were as good as gold.
It was a perfect day,
or so it seemed as Doug and I were walking home
alone together after dinner.

But then I saw the
Tristan and America
And we went in.
And my husband bought me an adorable dress!And then it really and truly was a perfect day
in the big city!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday in the City

We started out the day going to the chapel that is located in this beautiful building. Unfortunately, we had an amazing race kind of experience when we got there--finding out that the building was under renovation and we were directed across The Park to another location. It was only difficult because there was an awareness walk going on that caused a lot of congestion on the west side, which, of course, was where we were going. Fortunately, we had built in some time and amazingly managed to arrive just before the meeting started
at this lovely stake center.We heard a memorable talk on missionary work that began with this quote:

from "Here is New York" (1948)

by E. B. White

There are roughly three New Yorks.

There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born there, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size, its turbulence as natural and inevitable.

Second, there is the New York of the commuter--the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night.

Third, there is New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something. Of these trembling cities the greatest is the last--the city of final destination, the city that is a goal. It is this third city that accounts for New York’s high strung disposition, its poetical deportment, its dedication to the arts, and its incomparable achievements. Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness, natives give it solidity and continuity, but the settlers give it passion. And whether it is a farmer arriving from a small town in Mississippi to escape the indignity of being observed by her neighbors, or a boy arriving from the Corn Belt with a manuscript in his suitcase and a pain in his heart, it makes no difference: each embraces New York with the intense excitement of first love, each absorbs New York with the fresh yes of an adventurer, each generates heat and light to dwarf the Consolidated Edison Company.


After church we went for a walk around the MET...with the audio tour, of course, so that we would have a better appreciation of the things that we were seeing.

Greek Statuary...American Architecture...

Roman Art...
and Old World Masters...

Tricia and I had gone to this landmark restaurant in Central Park on a previous trip to the city. I enjoyed going back there with Doug this afternoon.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


We woke up late this morning and then we were off for a fabulous breakfast at Pershing Square. Doug had eggs benedict and I had organic whole wheat blueberry pancakes, billed as the best pancakes in America. I think that it is true!

Then we went to the New York Public Library. There were so many beautiful things to see. And the jewel of the library is a Gutenberg Bible that we had to try and photograph from another room looking in. A note on the case says that "when this 550-year-old Bible arrived in New York City in 1847, Custom House agents were instructed to remove their hats in its presence." It was a very touching experience just to see it.

More library pictures--